Less than two weeks after announcing plans to convert the Hotel North Beach into the city's first sober living facility for formerly homeless people, SF Mayor London Breed has canceled those plans due to community objections.

The plans were announced on February 8 to turn the 149-room Hotel North Beach at Kearny and Columbus into a new sober living facility for homeless individuals who have recently completed drug treatment programs. Mayor Breed held a press conference outside the hotel with Shireen McSpadden, executive director of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing.

As KQED reported, Breed called the project a potential "game-changer" and "very transformative and exciting for so many people who deserve a second chance."

But during that press conference, a half dozen neighbors and business owners disrupted the proceedings and were chanting "no" at Breed, as KQED reported. They said they had not been given any notice of the planned facility, and McSpadden said at the event that, per city protocol, they were identifying the site and would then welcome community feedback.

It seems that feedback was mostly negative, and the plan has now been scrapped. As the Chronicle reports, Breed issued a statement that was released first to Chinese-language media.

"After meeting with many community members, we have decided to pursue an alternative location for the Sober Living project that had been proposed at the North Beach Hotel," Breed said in the statement. "For this critical new program to be successful, it’s important for it to have support from the surrounding community. It became clear from my conversations with many in the area that this support was not there. "

Breed added, "I remain firmly committed to establishing this new sober housing program at another location, which will be the first of its kind in San Francisco."

The cancellation of the planned facility comes just ahead of a planned news conference by a Chinatown community group, the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, that was meant to rally community members against the plan. That news conference has now been canceled, the Chronicle reports.

This wouldn't be the first time that plans for transitional housing or a homeless shelter were met with community objections, but in this case, Breed is navigating what could be a potentially dicey election year with some less-than-stellar approval numbers.

As the Chronicle notes, Breed can hardly afford to lose support from Chinatown voters as she faces several challengers in the November election. And even Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who represents Chinatown in his district, was badmouthing Breed's team ot the paper saying that they should have done more outreach before this announcement.

Edward Siu, president of the Chinatown Merchants United Association, tells the Chronicle that he hopes Breed "learned her lesson" in this situation, adding, "It’s like they listened now because I believe the Chinese community unified together had a voice." Siu said the facility could be damaging to local businesses by affecting the "atmosphere" of the streets.

A Breed spokesperson, Mason Lee, says that the announcement two weeks ago about the new facility didn't mean that it was a "done deal," and Lee adds, "This is not about creating divisions, but about listening and working towards solutions."

Breed faced some similar and loud community pushback five years ago after the city announced plans to build a homeless Navigation Center on a Port-owned site along the Embarcadero near Rincon Hill. In that situation, despite homeowners lawyering up and shouting Breed down at a public meeting, Breed pushed ahead and the Navigation Center was ultimately built on the site.

"It's always going to be a bad plan when it's in your neighborhood," Breed told the NIMBY neighbors at the time.

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